The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth

The Wake

Paul Kingsnorth

An uncomfortable, lucid, robust read that tosses you right into the muddy aftermath of the invasion of England in 1066, showing how quickly freedoms are lost and how very hard it is to get them back. Here is a fierce, compelling voice opening up an ancient way of thinking. Read it out loud and suddenly you can hear the man clearly. It has much of relevance to say about truth, belief, human frailty and what being English might really mean.

Extract

Sum way from us on the straet through the ham we seen on a hwit hors a man. But on this hors there is a man and of this man there is naht anglisc and naht triewe and ne is not scod lic us.....
He is a frenc man saes tofe he is a frenc man i has seen him
Grimcell and i who has seen no frenc before this we locs and now we sees what curse is on our land and the folcs who is bringan it. .....but loc at his heafod now loc at his heafod for this is the thing what macs him what he is. his nose is lic sum carfen bec of the hafoc and in his eages there is blud we colde not see his eages well but blud there was in them for sure.....
This is no thing of the grene world i saes
It is a hard sight saes grimcell
Denisc men saes tofe denisc men when they cums they locs lic men lic feohtan men lic triewe men. and he locs at us agen lic he wolde haf us sae yes cilde yes cilde.... now says tofe and he saes it lic he is an ent now what is the grene men to do about this.
What says grimcell

Parallels
  • Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban
  • The Inheritors by William Golding
  • Hodd by Adam Thorpe
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Violence